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redoubt (ri-DOUT) noun

1. A small, usually temporary fortification to defend a position.

2. Stronghold; refuge.

[From French redoute, from Italian ridotto, from Medieval Latin reductus (refuge), past participle of Latin reducere (to lead back), from re- + ducere (to lead). The words conduct, produce, introduce, reduce, seduce, ductile - all are from the same Latin root.]

"Annetta Nunn was only four years old in 1963, when thousands of Birmingham residents defied Connor's men and their nightsticks, attack dogs and fire hoses, got themselves arrested, filled the jails and brought an end to segregation in Jim Crow's strongest redoubt."
David M. Halbfinger; A Black Woman Sits in Bull Connor's Seat; The New York Times; May 3, 2003.

"Anti-Taliban ground forces and punishing U.S. air strikes pushed remaining Qaida fighters from their final mountain redoubt over the weekend and 'ended the role of Afghanistan as a haven for terrorist activity,' the U.S. secretary of state, Colin Powell, said Sunday."
Brian Knowlton; Qaida 'Destroyed,' Powell Asserts But as Mountain Redoubt Falls, bin Laden Remains at Large; International Herald Tribune (France); Dec 17, 2001.

This week's theme: words that aren't what they appear to be.


Whenever you're called on to make up your mind, / and you're hampered by not having any, / the best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find, / is simply by spinning a penny. / No - not so that chance shall decide the affair / while you're passively standing there moping; / but the moment the penny is up in the air, / you suddenly know what you're hoping. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)

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